ATHLETICS Fiji for the first time will participate in the Dubai Marathon on January 24.
Acting Athletics Fiji president of Doctor Ayoade Alakija said the participation was part of their preparation for the Oceania Cross Country Championship which will be held in Fiji in September this year.
"We are building global partnerships in athletics that will enhance the sport in the long term," Dr Alakija said.
"We have also invited participation of other federations to the event to be hosted in Nadi, the UAE have shown keen interest."
The Dubai Marathon is the biggest prizemoney event in the athletic calendar with the first prize of $US200,000 ($F379,867) going to each first placed men's and women's runner.
It will also have most of the international big names in distance running competing, both as coaches and competitors.
Fiji will compete in the 10 kilometre road race in the event.
"We have secured partial sponsorship already and will be working hard this week to ensure that we are able to participate as this is quite a unique opportunity," Dr Alakija said.
"The executive committee yesterday unanimously agreed to Athletics Fiji's participation.
"Although we are currently operating with a significant financial deficit, we are determined as an executive committee to ensure that athletes are our first priority and that they get as many opportunities as possible to compete on the international stage."
Dr Alakija said they were yet to confirm which athlete(s) would be going to Dubai but selection was discussed during the executive meeting on Friday.